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Peter Gabriel Brings 'In Your Eyes' To Rock Hall

Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour perform at the 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

April 10: Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour perform onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn in New York City.  

Coldplay’s Chris Martin honors Gabriel’s landmark albums during induction ceremony.

Peter Gabriel’s last album of new songs, 2002’s Up, has outsold every album his fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees most recently released. At 375,000 copies, Gabriel just edges out Nirvana, whose recent repackaged versions of Nevermind and In Utero have moved more than a combined 350,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

On Thursday night (Apr. 10) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Gabriel played only one song from his landmark "So" album, the timeless "In Your Eyes," which featured Youssou N’Dour, Gabriel’s frequent collaborator, who flew in from Senegal to attend the event. Gabriel closed his three-song set with his biggest hit. As presenter Chris Martin, of Coldplay, said of So in his introduction: “He turned into a superstar with two little letters.”

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Martin told the packed stadium that when he discovered Gabriel’s 1992 album Us, “I got lost in Paris for a day listening to it.” Gabriel played two songs from that record, “Digging in the Dirt” and “Washing of the Water,” on which Martin dueted.

At 64, Gabriel was the youngest inductee to perform tonight. His most recent work of original material, though a dozen years old, stands as the highest-selling album of those also crowned tonight. From there, the gap grows much wider: Hall & Oates last issued a record of new songs in 2003, Do It For Love, sold 170,000 copies; Kiss has moved 152,000 for 2012’s Monster; Yusuf Islam’s 2009 Roadsinger sold 92,000 units; and Linda Ronstadt’s final release, 2006’s Adieu False Heart, sold 66,000.

Yet when it comes to Gabriel’s most revered work, 1986’s So, the deluxe 25th anniversary reissue has lagged far behind, with 25,000 copies, fewer than half of those generated by a version released in 2009. The disparity between sales of these reissues and those issued in 2011 and 2013 by Nirvana suggests a shift in the age of those buying music, especially vinyl.

“In the beginning of Record Store Day the vast majority of vinyl buyers were baby boomers,” its cofounder Michael Kurtz told The Hollywood Reporter this week. “Now they've been surpassed by their children.”

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